What are the best RPG games for PC [Role-Playing-Games] today and what are their strengths and weaknesses? What is the ideal video role game for you?
If video games tell stories, there is no genre more suited for the grand epics than Role-Playing Games. Long before PCs became a household staple, gamers would gather together amidst multi-sided dice, worn character sheets and wrinkled notepads as one among them took the reins as Dungeon Master in Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s Dungeons & Dragons. A table-top game unlike any other, D&D forged many concepts and mechanics that almost all RPGs try to replicate. From vast foreign worlds to sprawling labyrinths, to character customization and damage assessment, the soul of that iconic game lives on in the RPG genre.
Nowadays there’s hundreds of potentially best RPG games for PC out there to play, and anyone new to the genre might easily find themselves lost as to where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help. We have combed through the shelves and dug through history to compile a list of some of the best RPG games for PC. So if you’re itching to test out your new rig with a timeless classic, or if you want something to really make your friends green with envy, you can start with any one of these:
One of the Best RPG Games for PC:Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn (Bioware, 2000)
PROS: Like its predecessor, BG2 is one of the closest relatives to the actual D&D rule set and game mechanics. With hundreds of hours of gameplay, 11 different classes and allowing up to 6 people to play simultaneously, BG2 is still one of the purest old-school RPG experiences to ever grace the PC world. In true Bioware fashion, the voice acting, combat control and sheer variety of monsters and environments is astounding. No matter how many years pass, Baldur’s Gate 2 will always be a perfect example of an RPG done right.
CONS: While some of the more glaring imbalances have been fixed, certain classes are obviously far more effective and powerful than others. Mages are almost a necessity toward the last half of the game, while peripheral classes like the bard find difficulty remaining important or unique. Still, this is a small quibble in grand scheme of the rest of the game.
Diablo 2 (Blizzard Entertainment, 2000)
PROS: Much like James Cameron’s Aliens did for Ridley Scott’s original, Diablo 2 carefully and almost perfectly expanded the formula of the original Diablo. With cutting edge cinematics (at the time), new class selections like the versatile Amazon or the creative Assassin, addictive multiplayer and an amazingly balanced combat system, Diablo 2 is argued by many as the best of the trilogy. The inclusion of a new “hardcore” mode gave advanced players a true challenge once they had mastered the game or a certain class.
CONS: Although Blizzard is known for some amazing visual set pieces and gorgeous CG scenes, Diablo 2 actually feels a bit dated for a game debuting in 2000. The variety of monsters leaves something to be desired as well, with harder versions of monsters are distinguished only by a slightly different skin color. Finally, the Battle.net system was quite finicky during its inception, leading to many instances of lagging and dropping out, though that was a product of the past.
One of the Best RPG Games for PC:Star Wars – Knights of the Old Republic (Bioware, 2003)
Being the most expensive game development ever, is KOTOR the best of the best rpg games for PC today?
PROS: There had been a few games set in the Star Wars universe before KOTOR came along, but none of them captured the essence of Jedis and lightsabers and could marry it so well with an original story that rivaled some of the movies. Combat mechanics are tight and fluid as you clash against a myriad of bounty hunters, Sith and other familiar monsters from the Star Wars Universe, and the expansive dialogue tree system allows you to customize your character and play him the way you want.
CONS: KOTOR’s story, while long and engaging, has a few predictable twists and turns that you might see coming long before you get there. The combat is also based on a series of statistical checks your allies are automatically set to use once any enemy is nearby. In reality, you actually don’t have to do anything except watch the battle, occasionally stepping in to use a force power or two. Some of the planet environments are also quite barren and, at times, seem overly ignored by the developers, perhaps in favor of lusher planets.
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Game Studios, 2008)
PROS: It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it, but RPG and Science Fiction are harder to put together than you think. Unless your Bethesda, in which case you create one of the most detailed, harrowing, humorous and yet emotionally touching science fiction RPG game in PC history. As a lone traveler in the irradiated wasteland that was once Boston, Fallout 3 blends modern and classic science fiction themes together with the addictive qualities of first-person shooters to craft a game that truly allows you to forge your own destiny. Whether you are their savior or satan, the wasteland is yours to play with.
CONS: While you have a vast array of “perks” at your disposal to choose from as you gain experience, there are many skills that are much more pertinent than others. Skills such as lock pick and stealth quickly become more important than others, and by the last quarter of the game, you will rarely find a challenge anywhere in the wasteland worth stopping and fighting. On a graphical note, all NPCs you encounter still have an artificial (and very unnerving) gaze that lacks any emotion or care in their words, which detracts from the narrative experience.
One of the Best RPG Games for PC:World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 2004)
Perhaps being the best known of all, is WOW series the holy grail among the best rpg games for PC?
PROS: 9 years after its debut, WoW has over 10 million monthly subscribers and is undoubtedly the most successful MMORPG game in history. Bringing an untold level of immersion to the world of Azeroth, fans of Warcraft were free to create their own character—horde or alliance—and forge their destiny with unique narratives never utilized before. Coupled with a constantly evolving world with thousands of other human players spread across 2 continents, there is no such thing as conquering everything WoW has to offer. Since WoW debuted in 2004, the MMORPG genre has never been the same.
CONS: Unlike the other entries on this list, WoW is a MMORPG, which usually means it has a monthly fee. While it is only 15 dollars a month, there has been a growing trend of MMO games adopting other financial models that require less financial allegiance. Also, after 9 years and 5 expansions, Blizzard has carefully attuned WoW to encourage a more casual gaming audience, which came as a disappointment to the more advanced gamers. Getting a character to the maximum level is no difficult task, and many argue that what originally made WoW popular has long since been pushed out of the frame.
Might and Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven (New World Computing, 1998)
PROS: The M&M franchise has taken many forms over the years, but The Mandate of Heaven represents Might and Magic at its strongest. Giving players a first-person perspective into the vast world of Erathia populated with thousands of citizens, monsters and quest givers, M&M6 carefully balanced methodical experience gaining with bold exploring that never ceased to push players out of their comfort zones. No matter the dungeon, quest or reward, the Mandate of Heaven demanded skillful problem solving, expert combat management and, at times, outlandish solutions that never ceased to keep the player challenged.
CONS: Unfortunately, M&M6 relies too heavily on the “bold adventuring” feature than most people would care to tolerate. Unless you can deduce exactly where you need to go based off of a few muddled lines of dialogue, you’ll find yourself scratching your head more than once. Players can also customize their own magical spells with the right ingredients, and there are many instances where the right spell can “break” the balance of the game, making every single monster, dungeon and boss a complete cake-walk.
Neverwinter Nights 2 (Obsidian Entertainment, 2006)
PROS: Determined to honor their RPG predecessors, Obsidian’s Neverwinter Nights 2 is arguably the most faithful translations of a D&D experience onto the computer ever made. The story keeps you intrigued even after 40 hours or more, combat is simple even amongst moments requiring a lot of party management and skill using, and the voice acting is stellar throughout the game. It may a classic narrative you’ve played many times before, but NN2 still manages to make the entire adventure feel fresh and innovative.
CONS: Perhaps NN2’s biggest problem is the camera and how absolutely frustrating it can be. You will constantly have to maneuver to keep enemies on screen during combat, and looking around corners is a definite hassle. The computer AI that’s meant to manage your party members isn’t too bright either, opting to use skills or spells that you know will have little effect. In the later portion of the game, tougher enemies will ensure you end up doing most of the combat decisions yourself, rather than risking the AI making critical mistakes.
One of the Best RPG Games for PC:Mass Effect (Bioware, 2007)
PROS: Bioware seems pretty damn good at doing RPGs don’t they? Setting the stage for a brilliant trilogy story about galactic salvation, Mass Effect is a science-fiction shooter unlike any other. With graphics that still look great even by today’s standards, tight combat aiming and controls, and excellent voice acting throughout the entire story, Mass Effect is an eloquent, addicting and overall one of the best RPG games for the PC that begs to be experienced.
CONS: With a game as large as this, you have to expect there will be loading screens here and there, but unfortunately they pop up a lot more frequently than you like. There are also a few graphical hiccups here and there, and the game does tend to slow down when the combat gets a little too intense.
Now these are just a small sample of the myriad of RPG games that deserve to be played. If there was no limit, this list could go on for pages and pages, but for the sake of time this is a good sampling of some of the best RPG games for PC that any gamer—new or old—should play. Think we’re missing a big game here? Sound off in the comments section and let us know what we should add to make this list perfect. Now, stop surfing the net, grab one of these best rpg games for PC gems and start playing already!